Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Northern Exposure

A Northern Exposure (mp3)(pdf)(harmony pdf)

Back on June 15 we here in Decorah were treated to a visit from the new Finnish-American duo Kaivama and their Finnish touring partner, the legendary Arto Jarvela. A brief "northern exposure."

In the afternoon Arto led a workshop for about 20 fiddlers, mandoliners, guitarists, bassists and a pennywhistler. Being a big fan of Arto's work, both as a player and a composer, I was very happy for this opportunity. It was, as I expected, both educational and inspirational.

After a short dinner break Kaivama and Arto presented a great concert with some solos, some duos and some trios. They even invited the workshop participants to come up and play one of the tunes we had worked on that afternoon! This was my first chance to hear Arto play in person and he was great. I was also very pleased with Sara and Jonathan. They featured great playing, beautiful tunes and expert arrangements. The trios with Mr. Jarvela were especially strong. I highly recommend the new Kaivama CD and Arto's new Cross-tuned CD as well.

The highlight of the night for me was when Arto played my old blacktop Gibson mandolin on one number during the show. I've never heard it played better.

I will benefit from this exposure for years to come in terms of inspiration but the immediate payoff came the next morning when today's featured tune popped out of wherever tunes come from into my fingers as I played my mandolin. I'm guessing maybe Arto left it behind when he played it?

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